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Full text of "The Discovery Of The Child"

242               THE DISCOVERY OF THE CHILD

" The same method, the same difficulties, the same means of
direction apply to the straight horizontal lines. If by chance they
are begun fairly well the child may be expected to curve them,
tending to go from the centre to the extremities, as nature compels
him, for the reason which I have explained. If points marked at
intervals are not enough to keep his hand up, it is kept within
limits by parallel lines which are drawn on the paper, or by rulers.

" Finally, the child will be made to draw the horizontal line
whilst a set-square is placed against a vertical line forming with it
a right angle. The child will thus begin to understand the meaning
of the vertical line and the horizontal line, and will be able to
catch a glimpse of these first two ideas for drawing a figure.

" From the order in which the lines are introduced it might
appear that the study of oblique lines should follow immediately
after that of the vertical and horizontal, but it is not so. The
oblique, which shares with the vertical in its inclination and with
the horizontal in its direction, and which shares with both in its
character because it is a straight line, presents, because of its rela-
tionship both with the plane and with other lines, too complex an
idea to be appreciated without preparation."

In this way Seguin continues for several pages to speak of
lines sloping in all directions, which he has drawn between the
parallels. He goes on to the four curves, which he has drawn to
the right and to the left of a vertical, and above and below
a horizontal. He concludes: "In this way were solved the
problems which I was investigating—the vertical, the horizontal
and the sloping lines, and the four curves the union of which forms
the circle, the whole containing in principle all the lines possible
in writing.

" Having arrived at this point, Itard and I stopped for a long
time. The lines being known it was a suitable time to get the child
to draw some of the regular figures, beginning of course with the
simplest. Speaking from his experience, Itard had advised me to
begin with the square, and I followed this advice for three months
without succeeding in making myself understood.9*